There are many possible reasons for wanting to replace an old sofa. Perhaps it’s tired and worn, no longer big enough to accommodate your family, or just downright unfashionable! While finding your new sofa is fun, what do you do with your old one?
Who Would Buy My Sofa?
This is often the first thing that comes to mind – will anyone actually give me money for a tatty old couch I’m desperately trying to get rid of? Fortunately, there are people on the market for a second hand sofa, from students, to first home owners, to people looking for cheap furnishings for conservatories, rumpus rooms, and garages. Selling your old sofa can offset at least some of the cost of the new one, and it’s also a good thing to do for the environment as this means your sofa doesn't end up in landfill.
However, one unfortunate fact to bear in mind is that mass produced, flat-pack, self-assembly furniture rarely holds its value well. If you do manage to sell it, expect to only receive a fraction of what you paid for it.
How to Assess the Value of Your Sofa
If your old sofa is still in good condition, you definitely want to get some idea of how much it is worth before selling it. Even if your couch isn’t an antique or collector's item, you don’t want to shortchange yourself.
Take a quick look at the second hand sofas on Gumtree and Ebay and see if you can find one comparable to yours. On Ebay, remember to look at the “buy it now” prices. Auctioned sofas may have much lower starting bids than the value of your sofa.
If you are looking for a quick sale, consider matching or beating the lowest price you can find on a similar sofa on either Gumtree or Ebay.
Decide Where to Advertise
There are many options out there, and the one you choose will depend on whether you want the best price or a quick sale.
Online classifieds and auction sites
However, if you’ve got a bit of time up your sleeve and want to get the best possible price, consider advertising on some of the smaller classifieds sites:
Here, you’ll probably find a lot less competition and an older demographic with a bit more money to spend.
Local Community Noticeboards
It might sound a little old-school in the digital age, but public noticeboards are still a good way to advertise, especially to people in your local area. Often, public noticeboards can lead to a quick sale for a good price, because collection is easier for the buyer and you are not competing with countless other listings.
You can usually find free community noticeboards at places like your local supermarket, library, laundrette or university.
Consignment stores, furniture dealers & auction houses
If your sofa is likely to have any significant value, it is probably best to contact a dealer or auction house. Although they will want their cut, a dealer or auctioneer will be able to get your antique furniture in front of the right buyers.
Dealers will often come to you if your sofa is valuable or antiquated, which is an added convenience. However, beware if you have lot of antiques lying around your home. You don’t want a pesky auctioneer calling you at every hour of the day and night asking you to part with your precious family heirlooms!
Consider Donating Your Old Sofa
Ultimately, if you are unable to sell, consider donating to a charity or furniture bank. Most of them will collect your old sofa, and you get the satisfaction of helping a good cause.
Here are some great charities you might like to donate your old sofa to:
Note that most charities will only collect a sofa that has a fire label attached!
A final option you may wish to consider is Freecycle. The Freecycle Network is a worldwide grassroots movement that aims to keep usable items out of landfill and promote community togetherness in the process.
To use Freecycle, visit the website and search for a group in your town or city. You can then email the group and inform them about your old sofa. If there are any takers, they’ll get in touch with you and come to collect it!